Monday, April 30, 2012

MMGM: Blog Tour - Nikolas & Company: The Merman and the Moon Forgotten


Marvelous Middle Grade Monday

Shannon Whitney Messenger decided it was time to give middle grade stories the attention they deserve, and "Marvelous Middle Grade Mondays" was born.
 
*** BLOG TOUR***

Nikolas & Company
by Kevin McGill




Goodreads Blurb:
Nikolas and Company is Goonies meets Lightning Thief on a mythological reimagination of our moon--episode 1 of 4 from the thrilling new fantasy adventure series: Nikolas and Company!

Nick lives in a time when one can extend their life indefinitely through cerebral downloads, zip from country to country in hovercars, and have every whim taken care of by the ever faithful nannydrones.

Nick hates it.

Aside from the refugee camps, overpopulation, and unchecked consumerism filling every city across the globe, Nick just doesn’t belong. That is when he hears the voice of a woman:

“The Rones lie about their true intent. They enter the city of Huron at the peril of us all.”

Shortly after, his slightly crazed grandfather reveals to him:

“All you’ve ever heard about the Moon is a lie, my dear Nikolas. He was not always a mere satellite, a ghost wandering the stars. In an age before our own, Moon was our twin, and in him bore the whole of magical life. The cradle of this magical civilization was a fantastic metropolis filled with fire-breathing winged lions, volcano-born nymphs, automaton-legged mermaids, and so much magic you can smell it. We called this city Huron, and you, Nikolas, are her steward.”

Meanwhile on the moon, the senior stagecoach driver Yeri Willrow thought he was performing a simple drive and drop for his mysterious passengers, until they are attacked by foul-breath red-eyed creatures. He soon learns that his passengers are a family of automaton-legged merfolk, and he is their only hope. Yeri suddenly finds himself tasked with saving the merfolk or they will fall to the peril of the creature most foul. 

I'd say this book is at the upper end of middle grade reading levels, perfect for strong readers with good vocabularies. It hops around a lot at the beginning, but once the plot has been fully established it's much easier to follow. Quite an interesting and original adventure!

THE TRAILER




Check out the very cool website HERE.





** Others who can be counted on for MMGM: **

 Happy Monday!


Friday, April 27, 2012

BREAKING GLASS

Today is the unveiling of Lisa Amowitz's 
BROKEN GLASS cover and book trailer!!


About BREAKING GLASS: On the night seventeen-year-old Jeremy Glass winds up in the hospital with a broken leg and a blood alcohol level well above the legal limit, his secret crush, Susannah, disappears. When he begins receiving messages from her from beyond the grave, he's not sure whether they're real or if he's losing his grip on reality. Clue by clue, he gets closer to unraveling the mystery, and soon realizes he must discover the truth or become the next victim himself.

It's coming out on July 9, from Spencer Hill Press. If you're a book blogger, you can request to read an ARC of Breaking Glass here.

 


And the trailer is being unveiled today!





Here's where you can find out more about Lisa!!

Have a great weekend!!

THUMPED Winner!


 


Congratulations to Kristi R!!! 

She is the lucky person chosen by Rafflecopter 
to win my ARC of THUMPED.

Have a wonderful weekend, bloggy friends!


Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Serious Face


"You can approach the act of writing with nervousness, excitement, hopefulness, or even despair - the sense that you can never completely put on the page what's in your mind and heart. You can come to the act with your fists clenched and your eyes narrowed, ready to kisk ass and take down names. You can come to it because you want a girl to marry you or you want to change the world. Come to it any way but lightly. Let me say it again: you must not come lightly to the blank page."
~Stephen King (from On Writing)
 
 
 
 
I taped this to the top of my computer yesterday. Must. Keep. Writing. It's a serious business, and my editing will not get done if I don't do it. 

I miss you guys! Tons and bunches, and bunches and tons. I hope you'll hang in here with me for a while longer. Don't forget to enter my THUMPED giveaway. I'll announce the winner on Friday.

Have a wonderful Wednesday!!


Monday, April 23, 2012

Marvelous Middle Grade Monday - Fairy Dust... & Fairy Haven...

Marvelous Middle Grade Monday

Shannon Whitney Messenger decided it was time to give middle grade stories the attention they deserve, and "Marvelous Middle Grade Mondays" was born. 

Fairy Dust and the Quest for the Egg
&
Fairy Haven and the Quest for the Wand
by
Gail Carson Levine


 
Fairy Dust Goodreads Blurb:
A Newbery Honor-winning author takes readers back to the home of Peter Pan in this "New York Times" bestelling fantasy featuring the fairies of Never Land, including Tinker Bell and new arrival Prilla, who doesn't quite fit in. Full color.
Fairy Haven Goodreads Blurb:
Newbery Honor-winning author Gale Carson Levine ("Ella Enchanted") delivers the thrilling sequel to "Fairy Dust and the Quest for the Egg." Rani, Tinker Bell, and all of the Never Fairies find themselves fighting against the greatest danger of all--their own heart's desires--to save their beloved Fairy Haven.

These books are absolutely beautiful! I love the over-sized covers, the gorgeous illustrations (by David Christiana), and the wonderful read-aloud quality of the stories. My daughter and I read them a chapter or two at a time -- L-O-V-E!!  

The covers say it all, folks. The stories inside are every bit as inviting and delightful as the outsides.

 



** Others who can be counted on for MMGM: **

 Happy Monday!

Friday, April 20, 2012

Exciting ARC Giveaway - THUMPED by Megan McCafferty


I've been a bit scarce around the blogosphere lately, working to finish  my manuscript revisions by the end of April. I haven't been a very good commenter or blog buddy, and for that I am sorry. But I think I know a way to make it up to you--a little bit. 
So . . . let's have a GIVEAWAY!!!!

THUMPED
by Megan McCafferty


Expected publication: April 24th, 2012 
by Balzer + Bray

Goodreads Blurb:
THE CONCLUSION TO BUMPED, ONE OF THE MOST TALKED-ABOUT NOVELS OF LAST YEAR . . .

It’s been thirty-five weeks since twin sisters Harmony and Melody went their separate ways. And now their story has become irresistible: twins separated at birth, each due to deliver twins…on the same day!

Married to Ram and living in Goodside, Harmony spends her time trying to fit back into the community she once believed in. But she can’t forget about Jondoe, the guy she fell for under the strangest of circumstances.

To her adoring fans, Melody has achieved everything: a major contract and a coupling with the hottest bump prospect around. But this image is costing her the one guy she really wants.

The girls’ every move is analyzed by millions of fans eagerly counting down to “Double Double Due Date.” They’re two of the most powerful teen girls on the planet, and they could do only one thing to make them even more famous:

Tell the truth.
I was lucky enough to receive an ARC of THUMPED from the publisher. To celebrate it's upcoming release, I'll be giving away my copy to one lucky follower
 
If you'd like to be entered, simply fill out the Rafflecopter form and then cross your fingers. Some entries can be done once per day to increase your chances! I will announce the winner next Friday.

Thank you for being such great and supportive followers and friends. 
You all rock my socks off!



a Rafflecopter giveaway

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Every Day


"All successful people, men and women, are big dreamers. They imagine what their future could be, ideal in every respect, and then they work every day toward their distant vision, that goal or purpose."
~ Brian Tracy



Do you see the main message in those words -- big dreamers work every day. Every day. 
Stephen King says we should strive to write at least 100 words each day. Only 100, but once we've begun, those 100 could easily become 1,000 or more. Sometimes, we'll struggle to reach the minimum. Sometimes, we'll fly. The key, though, is to sit and force ourselves to begin . . every day

I'm not good at maintaining my momentum, even though I know how important it is to my long-term goals. 

And come back tomorrow for an 
AWESOME GIVEAWAY announcement!

How do you manage to win the battle against
avoidance and procrastination?


Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Zombie Dog is FREE today on Amazon!!


 Remember this? 
My MMGM review book for this week 
is FREE today!


Yes, I said FREE!!

Charmaine Clancy posted this announcement on Goodreads today:
For a SHORT time, you can download the Kindle book MY ZOMBIE DOG for FREE!

FREE from Amazon, all 5 star reviews, read this fun, humorous horror story for kids and big kids at heart. Did I mention it's FREE?

Download MY ZOMBIE DOG today! It's free for today only!

Many of you expressed interest in this book on Monday, so  
here's your chance to get a copy. Don't miss it!

GO HERE TO DOWNLOAD
 

Monday, April 16, 2012

Marvelous Middle Grade Monday - My Zombie Dog

Marvelous Middle Grade Monday

Shannon Whitney Messenger decided it was time to give middle grade stories the attention they deserve, and "Marvelous Middle Grade Mondays" was born. 
  
My Zombie Dog
by Charmaine Clancy
Goodreads Blurb:
Zane had the worst birthday ever. He spent it arguing with his Mum and burying a dead dog. Things just get worse. The next day Zane wakes to find the dog in his room, covered in dirt and… wagging its tail.

This is not Zane’s idea of the perfect dog. It’s shaggy, smells undead and bites people. And why does its victims all turn sluggish and keep asking for brains?

Can Zane can find the solution to save his neighbourhood from a zombie plague?
This book is adorable! The storyline is fun, the characters are lovable, the zombie dog is totally cool. My daughter read this book before me and loved it. She could hardly put it down, and when she was finished with it, she went back to the beginning and started again. Two weeks later, she is still talking about it. For an original take on zombies and fun, don't miss this one!




** Others who can be counted on for MMGM: **

 Happy Monday!


Friday, April 13, 2012

A Few More Good Indie Titles


Like I said yesterday, I've been exploring the self-published genre lately and have found some real winners. So far, I have featured Sarra Cannon's Beautiful Demons series and Abbi Glines's Existence series (in addition to our buddies: Susan Quinn, Shelli Johannes, Ali Cross, Karen Amanda Hooper). 

Here are a few more recommendations 
for your weekend reading:

Goodreads Blurb:
"No one tried to get involved with me, and I kept to myself. This was the place where everything was supposed to be safe and easy. How could Evan Mathews unravel my constant universe in just one day?"

He knows there’s something more to the girl sitting in the back of the class the moment he sees her. She’s beautiful, intelligent, and athletic – but she slips quietly through the crowded halls, trying not to exist. Determined to get to know the elusive girl, Evan soon discovers…

Emma Thomas is hiding a terrible secret.

Reason to Breathe is an electrifying page turner from start to finish, a unique tale of life-changing love, unspeakable cruelty, and one girl’s fragile grasp of hope.

* I didn't love the cover at first, but once you read it, it makes perfect sense. I really enjoyed this book--a lot! The plot circles a bit in places, but it is worth it!

Goodreads Blurb:
Zellie Wells has a devastating crush on Avery Adams, the son of her mom’s high school sweetheart. At her sixteenth birthday party, held in the basement of her dad’s church, she finally finds the courage to talk to him. Turns out, the devastating crush is mutual.

As Avery takes her hand and leads her out onto the makeshift dance floor, Zellie is overwhelmed by her first vision of his death; shocking because not only are they both covered in his blood, but they’re old, like 35, and she is pregnant.

Afraid to tell anyone about the vision, (she’d just be labeled a freaky black magic witch, right?) Zellie keeps the knowledge of Avery’s future to herself and tries to act like any other teenager in love. When they get caught on their way to a secret rendezvous by her mom and his dad, they are forbidden to see each other.

Convinced that their parents are freaking out unnecessarily, Avery and Zellie vow to be together no matter what. They continue their relationship in secret until Zellie learns that their parents are just trying to prevent her and Avery from suffering like they did. The visions are hereditary, they’re dangerous, and if they stay together the visions will come true.

Now Zellie must choose between severing all ties with Avery, like her mom did to prevent his father’s death, and finding a way to change Avery’s future.


Goodreads Blurb:
Owen True is eleven and eleven twelfths and has been “exiled” to the small crazy town of Hayward, WA, aka Haywire, while his mother is on her honeymoon. All he has to whittle away the time is the company of Gramps, his black lab Daisy, and his Haywire friends, Mason and Mikala Sweet. They don’t look so hot this year, in fact the whole town has gone to pot since the mill shut down.

Owen has his first encounter with a real life homeless man who ends up needing Owen’s help in more ways than one. But how does a rich city kid help the small town’s suffering citizens?

And what is Owen to make of the fog train and its scary, otherworldy occupants that appears out of thin air on the old tracks behind Gramps’ house? Do they have the answer Owen is looking for?

Do you have any to add?

Have a great weekend!

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Newfound Indie Fun

After the great joy I found in Sarra Cannon's Beautiful Demons series (book 1 is currently free on Amazon!), I've continued to swim in the Indie pool. And I'm liking it! Here's my most recent series love:





Goodreads Existence Blurb:
What happens when you're stalked by Death? You fall in love with him, of course.

Pagan Moore doesn't cheat Death, but instead, falls in love with him.

Seventeen year old Pagan Moore has seen souls her entire life. Once she realized the strangers she often saw walking through walls were not visible to anyone else, she started ignoring them. If she didn't let them know she could see them, then they left her alone. Until she stepped out of her car the first day of school and saw an incredibly sexy guy lounging on a picnic table, watching her with an amused smirk on his face. Problem is, she knows he's dead.

Not only does he not go away when she ignores him, but he does something none of the others have ever done. He speaks. Pagan is fascinated by the soul. What she doesn't realize is that her appointed time to die is drawing near and the wickedly beautiful soul she is falling in love with is not a soul at all.

He is Death and he's about to break all the rules.


This is an awesome series with a great romance--Death is oh-so-sexy!  And the best part . . . they are cheap! If you are looking for a good read, give them a try.

What's the most recent Indie title you've loved?


Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Winners!


MIRROR MIRROR 
WINNERS!


Winner of $25 Fandango Gift card 
+ Movie Novel:

Kelly Polark

2 Winners of Movie Novels:

Dee Gol
&
Sheri larsen

Congratulations!!! 
 

Monday, April 9, 2012

Marevlous Middle Grade Monday - Mirror, Mirror + Giveaway!


I am so excited to announce this super-cool giveaway! 

In support of the new release, MIRROR MIRROR, starring Julia Roberts and Lily Collins (in theaters now) and the fun middle grade companion title: Mirror Mirror: The Movie Novel, RELATIVITY has kindly donated prizes for THREE lucky winners!
 
MIRROR MIRROR
 IN THEATERS NOW



Synopsis:
One of the most beloved stories of all time is coming to life in the motion picture event for the whole family, Mirror Mirror.  A fresh and funny retelling of the Snow White legend, Mirror Mirror features breakout star Lily Collins (The Blind Side) as Snow White, a princess in exile, and Oscar®-winner Julia Roberts as the evil Queen who ruthlessly rules her captured kingdom. Seven courageous rebel dwarfs join forces with Snow White as she fights to reclaim her birthright and win her Prince in this magical comedy filled with jealousy, romance, and betrayal that will capture the hearts and imaginations of audiences the world over.  The film also stars Armie Hammer (The Social Network) as the Prince, and Nathan Lane (The Birdcage) as the hapless and bungling servant to the Queen.

* Rated PG

Prizes:
One (1) winner will receive:
·         $25 Fandango Gift Card
·         Mirror Mirror: The Movie Novel

Two (2) additional winners will receive a copy of Mirror Mirror: The Movie Novel


a Rafflecopter giveawayLink Up!
* ‘Like’ Mirror Mirror on Facebook
* Visit the official website to watch the trailer & grab free downloads!
* Follow Mirror Mirror on Pinterest for behind the scenes photos and more!

***************
 Contest entries will be welcomed all weekend, Fri. April 6th - Mon. April 9th
I will announce the winners on Tues. April 10th.

Good Luck!!

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Writer Weightlifting

 
“I always did well on essay tests. Just put everything you know on there, maybe you’ll hit it. And then you get the paper back from the teacher and she’s written just one word across the top of the page, “vague.” I thought “vague” was kind of vague. I’d write underneath it “unclear,” and send it back. She’d return it to me, “ambiguous.” I’d send it back to her, “cloudy.” We’re still corresponding to this day … “hazy” … “muddy”…”
 
~ Jerry Seinfeld (Sein Language Bantam Books: 1993)



I've always loved this piece by Seinfeld. It never gets old. I think this is how we sometimes feel when we've completed a manuscript and it's time to hit the editing button. From the suggestions of  CPs or betas or editors, pointing out our areas of "unclear" and "hazy", we get an opportunity (yes, opportunity) to strengthen our characters, our conflicts and resolutions, our story.
 

At a workshop I attended, Ralph Fletcher shared his original "final draft" of the PB Hello, Harvest Moon. I liked it. Then, he shared the letter he received from the editor at the publishing house after they reviewed it. OUCH! I was shocked that a writer like Ralph Fletcher could get spanked like that. There were 18 separate comments - two of them were positive. After we all recovered from the shock of this revelation, we read the published version of Hello, Harvest Moon. Some of my favorite parts were missing, but I had to admit that the story is much stronger with the revisions.

No writer, however brilliant, should think revisions aren't necessary. Therefore, we should think of the ugly, editing monster as writer weightlifting, making our story stronger with every tiring repetition.

How do you feel about writer weightlifting? 
Do you approach editing as work or as an opportunity?

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Heather McCorkle Cover Reveal - To Ride a Puca


Today, I am happy to host my blog buddy, Heather McCorkle, and the Cover Reveal Tour for her newest release. If you don't know Heather, you are really missing out!

Heather: I'm so excited to share the cover of my young adult historical fantasy novel, To Ride A PĂșca, with you. I've been waiting for so long to reveal the news and the cover that it's been driving me crazy! This novel is special to me, as many of you know, because it felt like my heart and soul has gone into it. It isn't a part of the channeler series, though it is a tie-in novel as it's about one of Eren's ancestors. This is a stand alone of a very different flavor and I hope you love it as much as I do.


Here is a bit about it:

Invaders are coming to take what isn't theirs, again.

Neala wants to stand and fight for her homeland, but as one of the last druids, she may be standing alone.

Persecuted, hunted down, forced to live in obscurity, the druids have all but given up. Can the determination of a girl who has barely come into her power bring them together? Or, just when she finally finds her place among her kind, will they end up losing a homeland their very magic is tied to?
This novel is intended for mature teens and adults as it contains some difficult subject matter. 

I had to throw that warning in because I had one person who was disturbed by some of the subject matter in The Secret Of Spruce Knoll. To Ride A PĂșca is a much darker novel than Spruce Knoll and will certainly not be appropriate for some readers. Slavery, oppression, and violent situations are within this novel. It certainly falls under the dark YA catagory. But it is also about hope, love, and belonging. It releases this May
* To add this novel to your Goodreads lists click here
* To pre-order a signed hardback (to ship at the end of May), click here.

Monday, April 2, 2012

Marvelous Middle Grade Monday - Julie of the Wolves

 
Marvelous Middle Grade Monday

Shannon Whitney Messenger decided it was time to give middle grade stories the attention they deserve, and "Marvelous Middle Grade Mondays" was born. 
 
 Julie of the Wolves
by Jean Craighead George
 
 
 
Goodreads Blurb:
Miyax, like many adolescents, is torn. But unlike most, her choices may determine whether she lives or dies. At 13, an orphan, and unhappily married, Miyax runs away from her husband's parents' home, hoping to reach San Francisco and her pen pal. But she becomes lost in the vast Alaskan tundra, with no food, no shelter, and no idea which is the way to safety. Now, more than ever, she must look hard at who she really is. Is she Miyax, Eskimo girl of the old ways? Or is she Julie (her "gussak"-white people-name), the modernized teenager who must mock the traditional customs? And when a pack of wolves begins to accept her into their community, Miyax must learn to think like a wolf as well. If she trusts her Eskimo instincts, will she stand a chance of surviving?

This one is a classic, and I love it. It's one of my favorite books--not because it's middle grade, but because it's so wonderful. I love Miyax. She is so brave and resourceful. I fell in love with her wolves and her little, odd bird and the way she made a life for herself in the wilderness. This book ripped my heart to pieces, but I still re-read it every now and then because it is just that good.

If you still haven't read this book, YOU MUST. It's one of those special classics that everyone should read at least once
 
 


** Others who can be counted on for MMGM: **

 Happy Monday! 
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